campaign to save the NHS — what should we do next?

The following message from the 38 Degrees team was received earlier today. It points out that leading medical organisations are already calling for the government plans to be scrapped, and asks supporters of their ‘campaign to save the NHS’ to vote on which forms of protest we feel will be most effective.

Is our NHS still in danger? Andrew Lansley’s NHS plans are due to become law within three months. So we need to vote now to decide what we should do together to keep our NHS safe.

Our campaign has made real progress. We have just heard that under pressure from us, the House of Lords has watered down Lansley’s plan to scrap his responsibility to provide a National Health Service. [1] That’s a huge success and shows that our campaign can work.

But there’s still plenty to worry about. Leading medical organisations like the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Nurses are now calling outright for Lansley’s plans to be dropped. They warn that – even with the changes we’ve campaigned so hard for – the plans are “a mess” and the future of the NHS is still under threat. [2]

Can you fill in a quick online poll to help decide what we do next? Then we can spring back into action next week.
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/saving-our-nhs

It’s no surprise 38 Degrees members keep making protecting the NHS a priority. We all know that it’s a national treasure. We can’t afford to lose it. So in the past year half a million of us have got involved with this campaign — emailing and visiting MPs, signing petitions, donating money, buying ads and even hiring a team of expert lawyers to cut through Lansley’s spin. [3]

What should we do now? Is it time to zoom in on the parts of Lansley’s plan which would introduce more competition and privatisation to the NHS? Or should we step back from the details and join with the doctors and nurses demanding the entire plan is withdrawn? Or something else? [4]

Thanks for getting involved,

Johnny, David, Marie, Hannah, Cian, Becky and the 38 Degrees team

PS. Nearly 45,000 of us have now signed up to join The Big Switch, our attempt to drive down gas and electricity prices by bargaining with the power companies as a group. That’s got to be a record! If you haven’t joined in yet, you can do so here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/the-big-switch

NOTES:
[1] An alliance of Lib Dem, Labour and cross-bench peers forced major concessions from the government over the “duty to provide” and “hands-off clause”. See for example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/28/andrew-lansley-nhs-health-reform-climbdown
[2] “NHS reform: GPs and physiotherapists urges scrapping”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16861672
[3] Watch a video highlighting some of the things 38 Degrees members have done together here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/pages/save_our_nhs_action_centre
[4] Obviously to some extent we can do both. But we will have more impact if we prioritise. And it may prove harder to influence Lords over specific amendments if they see the starting point for our campaign being that we want to scrap the bill altogether.

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